How many times couldn't you sleep at night in the last month? When you are under stress it is very hard to sleep. A good night's sleep is incredibly important for your health, immune system and your mood. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Here are some tips on how to get a better nights sleep.
Did you know that caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6 – 8 hours? Because of that, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3 – 4 pm is not recommended. After this time you need to cut out caffeine or reduce it to a bare minimum. Caffeine may not only cause difficulty initiating sleep, but may also cause frequent awakenings. If you are too sensitive to caffeine, even a small amount of coffee early in the day can affect your sleep. Instead, drink herbal teas or decaffeinated coffee.
Reduce Irregular or Long Daytime Naps
While short power naps for 30 minutes or less are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep quality. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, so you may struggle to sleep at night. Also, if you have trouble falling asleep, napping can make things worse. If you need to nap, limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon and avoid doing so late in the day.
Several supplements can cause relaxation and they can be useful when combined with other natural sleeping strategies.
- Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits. It relaxes and smooths muscle tissue and helps you to fall asleep. Take 250 mg one hour before bed.
- Valerian: Valerian roots has been used to promote relaxation since ancient times. It improves sleep quality too. Take 500 mg before bed.
- Magnesium: Magnesium may help quiet down the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Take 500 mg of magnesium for better sleep quality.
- Lavender: Lavender can induce a calming effect to improve sleep. Simply smelling lavender oil for 30 minutes before sleep may be enough to improve the quality of sleep. Take 80– 160 mg before bed. Remember that these supplements you can try only one at a time, consult your doctor if planning to mix them.
Don't eat or drink late in the evening
While we don't want to go to bed hungry, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Late-night eating may negatively impact sleep quality. Try to make dinner time earlier in the evening, and try to avoid heavy foods within two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble but high-carb meal eaten four hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster. Also, nicotine and alcohol deserve caution because of their stimulating effects that may take hours to disappear Moreover, avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening. Drinking lots of fluids may result in frequent waking up and going to the toilette.
Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower
A relaxing bath or shower is another good way to sleep better. It can improve overall sleep quality and hot bath 90 minutes before bed improves sleep quality and helps you get more deep sleep. Taking salts bath in the evening should be one of the more effective parts of good sleep hygiene routine.
Don't exercise before bed
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia. Even light exercise is better than no activity. But if daily exercise is key for a good night's sleep, performing it too late in the day may cause sleep problems. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before you plan to retire for the night.
Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends. You should get up at the same time every day in order to train your body to wake at a consistent time. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up without an alarm but if you need an alarm clock, maybe you should go to bed earlier. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. If you don't fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing like reading or listening to music and go back to bed when you're tired.
No late-night television or the Internet.
Many TV programs are stimulating rather than relaxing. Try listening to music or audio books instead. A problem with bedtime TV watching is simply the temptation to stay up late to find out what happens next. Activities that are highly interactive like answering emails, texting, posting on Facebook or Instagram prevent your brain from shutting down and can promote insomnia.
Contributed by Olivera, a lawyer who is constantly on the move, traveling between Europe, the USA, and Australia. She is married to a handsome IT guy who inspires her to live an active and positive lifestyle. She is in love with nature, traveling, and books. Writing is her way to share various ideas and thoughts about positive thinking, healthy living and helping others to do the same.